The South Florida Museum Will Celebrate “Summer Learning Day”on June 19; Event Marking National Summer Learning Day 2015 Will Be One of Hundreds across the Nation Aimed at Keeping Kids Learning, Healthy and Safe this Summer

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The South Florida Museum Will Celebrate “Summer Learning Day”on June 19

Event Marking National Summer Learning Day 2015 Will Be One of Hundreds across the Nation Aimed at Keeping Kids Learning, Healthy and Safe this Summer

Bradenton, FL – The South Florida Museum will highlight the importance of summer learning opportunities during “Summer Learning Day” at the Museum on Friday, June 19 from 10 am until 5 pm. The event, which is part of more than 300 Summer Learning Day activities serving more than 300,000 youth nationwide, will offer FREE Museum Admission to Manatee and Sarasota County students – up to age 12 (children 3 & under are always free) – along with one adult chaperone. Students will receive a “Summer Survival Booklet,” which will guide them in Museum activities, encourage reading, and provide opportunities for free return trips to the Museum!

The event is part of National Summer Learning Day, a national advocacy day led by National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to elevate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer. This year, NSLA is encouraging everyone—providers, families, businesses—to take the pledge to keep kids they know and love learning and healthy this summer so they can thrive in the school year ahead at

Along with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, this and other events and programs in our region aim to increase third-grade reading proficiency nationwide through work in these key areas: attendance, healthy readers, parent/family engagement, school readiness, and summer learning.

“Summer learning is crucial to a child’s long-term learning and we are very pleased to offer this opportunity to the community,” says Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio. “We partner with the school district in many different ways and we have many camps and activities for young learners, so this is a natural fit. Plus, the Museum is fun for all ages!”

The Museum is participating in this nationwide day of learning to help families identify the resources for fun, engaging learning opportunities that are available right in their own backyards – and to provide an way for families and children who may not normally have the means to visit the Museum and to keep returning throughout the summer!

The Museum will provide all of the children who attend Summer Learning Day on June 19th with a “Summer Survival Booklet” which highlights the opportunities to engage children’s reading and math skills in the Museum, Planetarium, Aquarium – and at the downtown Manatee County Central Library located just down the block from the South Florida Museum! It helps to illustrate how children can engage these skills throughout their daily lives all summer long.

A portion of the “Summer Survival Booklet” also includes a summer reading log. For every 5 hours of reading a student logs their summer reading time in their booklet, they will be able to return for a Free Museum Day at the South Florida Museum along with one free parent or guardian. The summer reading log offer will run through Saturday, September 5 – a date which features the Museum’s “Family Reading Festival” during Family Night at the Museum from 3 pm – 8 pm. (Students may use their 5 hours of logged reading time for admission to Family Night.)

Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low- income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income kids.

Low-income youth also lose access to healthy meals over the summer. Six out of every seven students who receive free- and reduced-price lunches lose access to them when school lets out. And, research shows that children gain weight twice as fast over the summer compared to during the school year.

Moreover, a lack of opportunity for meaningful mentorship and work experience prevents many older youth from successfully completing high school and entering post-secondary education or careers.

“Many kinds of high-quality learning opportunities during the summer can make a difference in keeping young people on track for success,” said Sarah Pitcock, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, “these opportunities can be found in schools and community organizations, including local libraries and museums, and in businesses, colleges and community colleges. Even families can be empowered to provide high-quality summer learning to their kids at home.”

The National Summer Learning Association is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works, offers expertise and support for programs and communities, and advocates for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit

About the South Florida Museum

The largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs which interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit. The facility also includes both the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system, the Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with young manatees from the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership. These injured or orphaned animals are taken care of by the Parker Aquarium staff until they are ready to be released into the wild. For more information about current exhibitions and special programs, membership, hours, or admission prices please call 941- 746-4131 or visit

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